, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 159-165

First online:

Degradation of catechin by Bradyrhizobium japonicum

  • Waheeta HopperAffiliated withCentre for Advanced Studies in Botany, University of Madras
  • , A. MahadevanAffiliated withCentre for Advanced Studies in Botany, University of Madras

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Rhizobia utilize phenolic substances as sole carbonsource. Bradyrhizobium japonicum utilizescatechin, a unit of condensed tannin as carbonsource. To establish the degradative pathway ofcatechin, the products of catechin degradation wereisolated by paper chromatography and TLC andidentified by HPLC, UV, IR and NMR spectra. B.japonicum cleaves catechin through catechinoxygenase. Phloroglucinolcarboxylic acid andprotocatechuic acid were identified as the initialproducts of degradation. Phloroglucinolcarboxylicacid is further decarboxylated to phloroglucinolwhich is dehydroxylated to resorcinol. Resorcinolis hydroxylated to hydroxyquinol. Protocatechuicacid and hydroxyquinol undergo intradiol cleavagethrough protocatechuate 3,4-dioxygenase andhydroxyquinol 1,2-dioxygenase to formβ-carboxy cis, cis-muconic acidand maleylacetate respectively. The enzymes ofcatechin degradative pathway are inducible. Estimation of all the enzymes involved in thecatabolism of catechin reveals the existence of acatechin degradative pathway in B. japonicum.

Bradyrhizobium japonicum condensed tannins catechin degradation